Dogs are family members. There's no doubt about that. So if you lose your pup, it's totally devastating. The person behind this latest "Am I the A-hole?" post adopted a dog in 2014 who immediately became part of their family. She was a "small-sized mutt which looked a little like a collie, so we named her Collie," they wrote.
But Collie went missing one day. They explain that they let her loose to run around the neighborhood every night. She was generally trustworthy and would come back reliably after 30 minutes out. "It wasn't that we won't walk her," they write, "she just doesn't do well with a leash and prefers to run around all by herself."
One day, in 2018, Collie didn't come home. They looked for her for weeks, put up posters, offered rewards, and called shelters, and they didn't find her. They were understandably completely devastated.
Then, last month, OP was on their way to a client's house and saw Collie! She was in someone's yard. "I wasn't sure at first," they write, "but the similarities were definitely there, so I called out her name and she actually raised her head and responded. That confirmed it."
They knocked on the door and two little kids answered. The adults weren't home. He found out that the family found Collie on the streets and took her home thinking she had been abandoned. According to OP, they never tried to find her owner or tried to find out if she was microchipped.
Collie's original owner told these poor kids that he was going to take the dog since she had been stolen. The took Collie out of the backyard, left the kids with their number, and brought Collie home. The kids' parents later called them and begged them to return their beloved pet. She was part of their family, after all! They even offered to pay to have her back. But OP wouldn't budge.
"I said no," OP writes, "Collie is part of my family and they should have thought of that when they decided to keep a stolen dog." Imagine being that family. A random person shows up at your door one day, claims that your beloved pet is theirs, and takes her away from you forever.
I understand being devastated at the loss of your pet and being excited to find her again, but you don't take a dog from someone's backyard when you haven't even spoken to an adult about it. OP traumatized those poor kids.
And commenters agreed. The consensus was that while it was indeed wrong if this family didn't try to locate Collie's real owner when they found her, the way OP went about getting her back was so not OK.
"While you're legally correct, I have to say YTA," one commenter wrote. "You let your dog run loose, you lost her as a result. Consequences for actions and all that."
Some were suspicious of the veracity of the post. It does seem unlikely that the family didn't take any steps whatsoever to find Collie's owner. OP claimed that she was wearing a collar with a contact number. Plus she was microchipped. If the family indeed didn't try to track down OP, that's not right.
However, OP did let his pet dog roam around unleashed, which is dangerous, and, as one commenter puts it, "You took a family dog from two children whose parents weren't home? Holy f--k." I know that if I was one of those kids, I would be scarred for life from the time a stranger came and took my dog.